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    UC Berkeley’s Architecture & Design Summer Programs

    UC Berkeley’s Architecture & Design Summer Programs


    • Listing Type: Summer Programs
    • Program Delivery: Day, Residential
    • Destination: United States
    • Provided By: College
    • Session Start: June, July
    • Session Length: Two Weeks, Four Weeks, Five Weeks
    • Entering Grade: 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, College
    • Gender: Coed
    • Category: Academic
    • Sub-Categories: Architecture, STEM, Design, Arts, Career Exploration, Study Skills
    • Selective: Yes
    • Ages: 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19+, 19
    • Minimum Cost: $1,500 - $2,999
    • Career Clusters: Architecture and Construction
    • Credit Awarded: Yes
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    Explore how design might fit into your future this summer at UC Berkeley. In-person programs in architecture and design will fire your imagination, stretch your mind, and set you on the path to achieving your goals. You’ll explore multiple aspects of environmental design and learn how to conceptualize and communicate your ideas in both 2D and 3D. No prior design experience is necessary. Programs start at age 14 with commuter and overnight options.

    UC Berkeley's College of Environmental Design (CED) offers several summer programs for students interested in architecture, design, landscape architecture and city planning & urban design. International students are welcome and encouraged to apply. No prior experience in design is necessary. In our academic programs, you have the opportunity to create a quality portfolio that can be used for further academic pursuits. There, you will earn college-level credit on an official UC Berkeley transcript. All programs take place in-person at Bauer Wurster Hall, the home of CED.

    • Design + Build Day Camp is a 2-week day camp for rising 9th and 10th graders.
    • embARC is a 4-week academic program for rising 11th and 12th grade high school students.
    • DISC is a 5-week academic program for current college students pursuing a bachelor's degree.

    Click the "View Website" button to learn more about all programs. The programs fill up fast, thus we recommend you apply early.

    Design + Build Day Camp for commuter high school students: Take your maker skills to the next level at UC Berkeley this summer. You’ll work side by side with fellow campers to imagine, design, and build a mini golf course using state-of-the-art tools in the College of Environmental Design’s wood and metal shop and digital fabrication lab. 

    In this intensive design/build day camp for rising first- and second-year high school students, you’ll collaborate on a small team to create one mini golf hole. Get creative with themed environments, tunnels, bridges, buildings, windmills, tubes, ramps, characters and other engaging elements and obstacles. The sections will be joined together and installed in the CED courtyard, creating a complete course for you to play with family and fellow campers on the final day. It’ll be a “hole” lotta fun!

    Benefits of attending the Design + Build Day Camp:

    • Engage in college-level design thinking and communication skills
    • Level up your maker skills by learning how to use professional woodworking and metalworking equipment
    • Explore digital fabrication software and tools
    • Create a complete project from initial idea to finished object
    • Develop STEM skills
    • Collaborate with other creative teens
    • Experience a college campus
    • Receive a certificate of completion from UC Berkeley

    The embARC Summer Design Academy is an immersive, four-week summer design program for rising high school freshmen and sophomores. You’ll explore architecture, urban design, and sustainable city planning through an integrated plan of study. Develop your portfolio for your college application alongside other talented teens who share your passion for environmental design.

    Spend your summer immersed in the world of architecture, urban design, and sustainable city planning on the UC Berkeley campus. embARC is an engaging college-level course that offers you the chance to study at the top-ranked public university for architecture and the built environment alongside students from all over the world.

    Challenging design assignments, one-on-one reviews with instructors, field trips around the Bay Area, and a design/build project for a community nonprofit introduce you to the skills, ideas, and culture of an environmental design education. You'll leave the program with a strong portfolio for your college applications in any area of environmental design and credit on an official UC Berkeley transcript. 

    Benefits of attending embARC:

    • Explore architecture, urban design, and city planning as possible college majors and careers
    • Develop technical and time-management skills through college-level coursework
    • Work with fellow students with similar interests
    • Build a design portfolio to use when applying to college
    • Be exposed to public policy issues that empower you to make a real impact on your community
    • Earn a certificate of completion and credit on an official UC Berkeley transcript
    • Take part in building a project for a local nonprofit organization

    At the immersive DISC (Design and Innovation for Sustainable Cities) summer program, you’ll join with other college students from around the world to tackle the issues of climate change, urban health, and social equity through the design of the built environment. A multidisciplinary approach gives you the tools and expertise to craft innovative design-based solutions to the most pressing problems of our times.

    After graduating from DISC, you’ll join a cohort of more than 300 program alums from 30+ countries. Many have been accepted to top graduate programs — Columbia, Cornell, Harvard, MIT, Princeton, Rice, University of Illinois, University of Michigan, University of Pennsylvania, University of Washington, Yale, UC Berkeley — poised to become thought leaders in the responsible reshaping of our built environment.

    An intensive, challenging program built on four main platforms empowers you with the skills and expertise to shape our built environment:

    • Seminars in Urban Innovation and Global Cities / Global Challenges provide you with a theoretical framework.
    • Studio sessions and digital workshops hone your fundamental making skills and empower you to craft your own design solutions.
    • Field work and site visits give you an opportunity to engage directly with the dynamic built and natural environments of the San Francisco Bay Area, using it as a living laboratory for study.
    • Guest lectures expose you to some of the most renowned and forward-thinking researchers and practitioners in the Bay Area.

    Reasons to attend DISC:

    • Identify and explore the major debates around global urbanization and sustainability
    • Develop a project from concept to final design
    • Conceptualize and communicate your design ideas in 2D and 3D
    • Collaborate on group projects with other college students passionate about design
    • Connect with experienced faculty and renowned local practitioners
    • Use the San Francisco Bay Area as a living laboratory for creative design
    • Develop compelling materials for your design portfolio
    • Earn college-level credit on an official UC Berkeley transcript

    No design experience is necessary.

    To learn more about all programs, click the "View Website" button.

    Cost and Session Information

    Program dates:

    Design + Build Day Camp: June 17-28 (application deadline: April 14, 2024)

    embARC: July 1-26, 2024 (priority application deadline: March 11, 2024 - also deadline for scholarships and students who want housing)

    DISC: July 1 - August 2, 2023 (priority + stipend application deadline:  March 26, 2024; final application deadline for international students: April 29, 2024; final application deadline for domestic students: May 13, 2024)

    Cost for Design + Build Day Camp: $2,900

    Cost for embARC and DISC: ~$4,900 (domestic visiting students), ~$7,800 (international students)